and Baltimo'...
June 29, 2005 5:46 PM   Subscribe

What should we do in Baltimore?

We will be in Baltimore for the day this Saturday, July 2. We're already planning to have crabs (mmm, crabs) at Obrycki's, but what else should we be sure not to miss? I've looked at the the city's website but the calendar of events seems to end on June 30, and I'm looking for something a little cooler than a "fishing rodeo". We'll have a car.
posted by willbaude to Travel & Transportation around Baltimore, MD (29 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The American Museum of Visionary Art, on the inner harbor. It's an amazing experience. And there's a great cafe on the top floor - relatively cheap, too. Seriously, don't miss it.
posted by UKnowForKids at 5:50 PM on June 29, 2005

Second the AMVA. Check out Poe's and John Wilkes Booth's graves. Take a water taxi across the inner harbor. The National Aquarium's pretty damn neat, if that's yr thing.
posted by item at 5:58 PM on June 29, 2005

Third on the AMVA.
posted by garbo at 6:09 PM on June 29, 2005

If you're a baseball fan, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a great place to take in a game, and this is coming from a Fenway Park regular.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:37 PM on June 29, 2005

When you take that water taxi, you can get off at Fells Point and walk around and look at junk shops and hipster thrift stores and get some ice cream. There's also the American Dime Museum 20-some blocks north of the Harbor. And as a heads up, the American Visionary Art Museum is near the water, but I would call it Federal Hill, not the Inner Harbor. Also, to me the cafe (Joy America) isn't "relatively cheap," but they do have the best guacamole in the city. The National Aquarium is $17 a ticket.

My favorite spot in the city is Mount Vernon Place, essentially a group of parks. It's kind of European looking. You can climb the Washington Monument and sit on a bench and take pictures. The Walters Art Museum is right near there

Historic Dickeyville is like a little New England town in Baltimore City, and they're big on July Fourth. There should be something going on there on the 2nd.
posted by Airhen at 7:38 PM on June 29, 2005

Oops, I did all my links wrong, sorry:
American Dime museum
Mount Vernon Place
Walters Art Museum
posted by Airhen at 7:41 PM on June 29, 2005

We did the Duck thing. It's a tour in an amphibious vehicle that drives around significant sites (with great commentary) and then drives into the harbour for a cruise. You get these duck callers to hang around your neck and quack at appropriate moments. I was my usual cynical self at the start, but had a blast and got a lot of history out of the tour. People on the street know the tour well and wave (and dance!) as you go by - great if you have kids.

Go sit on Federal Hill and watch the traffic on the water.

Have lunch and a beer at the Capitol City Brewing Company.

Take a ghost tour!

See what the local paper recommends.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:17 PM on June 29, 2005

My favorite place to eat lunch is Liquid Earth, on Aliceanna. It's walking distance from the AVAM and Fells Point -- absolutely fantastic vegetarian sandwiches and punk rock staff.
posted by redfoxtail at 8:32 PM on June 29, 2005

(It is AVAM, by the way, not AMVA, if you're having any trouble scouting it out online.)
posted by redfoxtail at 8:35 PM on June 29, 2005

Poe's grave and the Full Moon Saloon, one of the coolest dives I've ever been to. Also, if you are a Homicide fan, there are tours but just walking around Fell's Point is terrific fun.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:50 PM on June 29, 2005

Get some crabs, they should not be missed. Maryland is known for them, and this is the season for them. I am jealous!
posted by pwally at 8:51 PM on June 29, 2005

In Fell's Point, go to Bertha's to eat mussels and have some nice hand-pulled local brewed beer, which I think comes from the Wharf Rat a few blocks away -- also worth visiting.
posted by transient at 9:04 PM on June 29, 2005

No visit to Balmer is complete without a stop at Angelo's, The Home of the Big Slice, or to the Kibbitz Room at Atman's Kosher Deli!
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:19 PM on June 29, 2005

Have authentic Italian at Sabatino's, in Little Italy, and then have the best danged hamburger ever at Kooper's in Fell's Point. (They have the local brew on tap, too!)
posted by headspace at 9:22 PM on June 29, 2005

Go to D.C.. It's like 45 minutes away.
posted by bitpart at 9:30 PM on June 29, 2005

The Book Thing offers free used books, as many as you can carry. They just moved to a new, larger location.
posted by cahlers at 2:28 AM on June 30, 2005

1) Get a copy of Tom Waits' "Way Down in the Hole" (a cover will do)
2) Find a cabbie who's willing to tour through the crappier parts of town.
3) Recreate the opening scenes of "The Wire"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:00 AM on June 30, 2005

Seconding Camden Yards (and also check out the Babe Ruth museum on Emory and Dover) if you are into baseball. Even if you are not, the ball park is awesome. And the O's are playing Cleveland on Saturday evening, should be a good game.

Wander down Charles St. We got married in the Walter's Art Museum, it's a great museum. A few blocks north of the monument is Brewer's Art, a great restaurant and bar (the bar is in the basement, brewing Belgian style beers, and they are really good, but strong).

If you like diners, check out Paper Moon on 29th St, by the Hopkins undergrad campus. It's full of toys and crazy stuff, and the food is good. A more divey kind of diner is the sip and bite on Aliceanna and Boston St. I used to eat there every weekend when I lived in Baltimore. The food is fantastic.
posted by gaspode at 5:20 AM on June 30, 2005

No kidding, robocop... While I'm not sure it's a good idea to tour the hood (so to speak), the urban decay in Baltimore is pretty spectacular.
posted by ph00dz at 6:26 AM on June 30, 2005

I must again recommend the American Visionary Art Museum, and, a little further down Key Highway, the Museum of Industry. Finish off with mojitos and calimari at Little Havana (not authentic bal'm'r, but very tasty). Also, visit the Hamden neighborhood to realize that John Waters is not making it up. While there, you can grab brunch at the Golden West Cafe (yum!).

Whatever you do, have fun!
posted by Verdant at 6:57 AM on June 30, 2005

Ditto on most of the suggestions here, but I take umbrage at the Baltimore Sun being referred to as "the local paper." The Sun hasn't been local for years. Here's Baltimore's real local paper, and their online event calendar is second to none.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:02 AM on June 30, 2005

Don't go to the Golden West if you're hungry. The service is slooooooow, even when it's not that crowded. Apparently hipsters don't make the best waitstaff. The food is good, but the service sucks. Holy Frijoles, across the street, is a better bet if you want decent service.

Also check out Dionysus on Charles and Preston. Great bar downstairs, great food upstairs.
posted by electroboy at 7:31 AM on June 30, 2005

The aquarium is amazing. Worth several hours of touring.
posted by hamster at 7:37 AM on June 30, 2005

Two words: steamed crabs.
posted by phearlez at 8:06 AM on June 30, 2005

The Ghost Tour is pretty fun. It's also a pretty nice tour of Fell's Point is general. One thing though. Unless they've changed it you don't actually get to go in any of the allegedly haunted locations.

Ok, wait, now that I examine obiwanwasabi's link I see that I went on a different ghost tour.
posted by sevenless at 9:36 AM on June 30, 2005

The food at Holy Frijoles is horrid. Drinks are great, though. If you want good food in Hampden, I like Hon Cafe. And it's as 'authentic Bawlmer' as you can get.

Steamed crabs are a good choice, but lately I've been hearing that LP Steamers has the best ones this year.

The Visionary Museum is very cool as is the Museum of Industry just down the street. If you have kids, I've always enjoyed the Science Center and the Aquarium, although both are a bit pricey.

If you're a music geek, there's a CD store in Fell's Point called Soundsource (I thnk. I'm suddenly blanking on this.) that's pretty good...not as good as a lot in NYC, but definitely the best in Baltimore.

Have fun and be sure to have a Natty Boh before you leave!
posted by amandaudoff at 10:05 AM on June 30, 2005

The cd store is called Soundgarden. It's on Thames St.

Oh and the Natty Boh -- I drink it all the time, but it seriously tastes like water.
posted by gaspode at 10:31 AM on June 30, 2005

...I never said the Natty Boh was good. Just that it was local. For a better local brew, check out the Thirsty Dog in Federal Hill. Mmmm, blueberry beer.
posted by amandaudoff at 12:17 PM on June 30, 2005

Natty Boh hasn't been brewed in Baltimore since 1996. Thirsty Dog's beer is brewed by Old Dominion (it says so on their menu), which is not to say their beer and pizza aren't excellent. And the crabs you eat in Baltimore may very well not be from Maryland. The Sun, however, is still printed in the city (right by the Wal-Mart), with its main newsroom in Mount Vernon. I've largely found Little Italy mediocre, but Vespa in Federal Hill is great. And I disagree that Holy Frijoles' food is "horrid." It's less greasy than your typical Mexican food, though.
posted by Airhen at 8:25 PM on June 30, 2005

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